Portland Public Schools employees save homeless man on fire outs - KPTV - FOX 12

Portland Public Schools employees save homeless man on fire outside district office

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

A pair of Portland Public Schools employees saved a homeless man's life Friday by happening to be at the right place at the right time, though the victim did not escape without injury.

The fire broke out on a loading dock at the Portland Public Schools main district office at the Blanchard Service Center downtown.

Officials say the man had taken some cardboard boxes from a nearby recycling dumpster and had spread them out on the dock to take a nap.

He also was reportedly using the electrical outlets on the loading dock, but it is not known if that is what sparked the fire.

Officials do know that the man woke up around 6 a.m. to the smell of smoke, just as Josh McKinniss and Brad Yeager were arriving for their shifts.

The two PPS employees saw the man, his clothes and other belongings in flames and jumped into action. The three men used a fire extinguisher and water to put out the flames.

The homeless man sustained injuries to his hands but didn't seem to be badly burned otherwise.

PPS officials commended their employees' compassion and quick thinking, though both men say they were just doing what they'd want someone to do for them.

"There was a fire. A guy needed help so we helped him. It was the right thing to do," Yeager said. "I don't feel like a hero.”

Yeager and McKinniss say they never got the name of the man they saved. He refused medical care and left the area not long after the incident happened.

Despite their heroics, McKinniss told FOX 12 that there are layoffs coming next month and he soon may find himself without a job.

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